How do you know, deep underground,
Hid in your bed from sight and sound,
Without a turn in temperature,
With weather life can scarce endure,
That light has won a fraction’s strength,
And day put on some moments’ length,
Whereof in merest rote will come,
Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb;
O crocus root, how do you know,
How do you know?
~Thomas Hardy, from Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems
This is why I believe that God really has dived down into the bottom of creation, and has come up bringing the whole redeemed nature on His shoulders. The miracles that have already happened are, of course, as Scripture so often says, the first fruits of that cosmic summer which is presently coming on. Christ has risen, and so we shall rise.
…To be sure, it feels wintry enough still: but often in the very early spring it feels like that. Two thousand years are only a day or two by this scale. A man really ought to say, ‘The Resurrection happened two thousand years ago’ in the same spirit in which he says ‘I saw a crocus yesterday.’
Because we know what is coming behind the crocus.
The spring comes slowly down the way, but the great thing is that the corner has been turned. There is, of course, this difference that in the natural spring the crocus cannot choose whether it will respond or not.
We have the power either of withstanding the spring, and sinking back into the cosmic winter, or of going on…to which He is calling us.
It remains with us whether to follow or not, to die in this winter, or to go on into that spring and that summer.
~C. S. Lewis from “God in the Dock”
If there’s fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky
That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.
~Seamus Heaney from “The Cure at Troy”
We are mere seed lying dormant, plain and simple, with nothing to distinguish us one from the other until the murmurs of spring begin, so soft, so subtle. The soil shakes loose frosty crust as the thawing warmth begins. Sunlight makes new life stir and swell, no longer frozen but animate and intimate.
We will soon wake with a “birth-cry” from our quiescence to sprout, bloom and fruit. We will reach as far as our tethered roots will allow, beyond earthly bounds to touch the light and be touched.
How do we know when the time has come?
We are ready and waiting to unfurl, in response to the fire in the sky:
called by the voice and breath of God.